13 Aug 2022

Laois man verbally abused garda in courthouse when she intervened in row


Laois man verbally abused garda in courthouse when she intervened in row

A Laois man who verbally abused a female garda sergeant in the foyer of the local courthouse after she intervened when he was shouting at his own sister has been given a three-month jail sentence.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was Christopher O’Brien (31), with an address at 12 Fr O’Connor Crescent, Mountrath, charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, and failure to comply with the gardaí, at Main Street, Portlaoise, on April 12 last.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on April 12 this year, the accused was shouting at his sister and her partner in the foyer of the courthouse, when a garda sergeant intervened.

The accused turned to the sergeant and said “f**k off, you dirty whore, I’ll sort you out, you filthy whore, you f*cking bitch”.

The accused had 62 previous convictions.

He is currently serving a sentence for barring order offences and is due for release in December.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused was well known to the courts and there had been various issues with his ex-partner involving breaches of court orders.

“His volatility causes all kinds of difficulties and unfortunately he hasn’t addressed it,” said defence.

In relation to the offence, defence said the accused had a long-term grievance with his sister and it spilled out into the court foyer, and when the garda sergeant intervened she became the target.

Ms Fitzgerald said the accused is now in a stable relationship with a new partner who is expecting a child. Mr Fitzgerald said the accused’s partner was present in court to support him and she is due to give birth in a few weeks’ time.

Defence also handed in a letter of apology for the sergeant and Mr Fitzgerald said this letter appeared to be genuine.

The accused was sentenced to three months in prison by Judge Catherine Staines.

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